Asking where to start means you already have

Image Credit: Wallup

I live in San Francisco, and I’ve spent my entire career working on startups. I’m constantly seeking advice from people who’ve done things I’m about to try. Somewhere along the way, though, people started asking me questions about how to start a company. If there’s one remarkable thing about startups, it’s how willing everyone is to lend a hand to anyone giving a sincere go at starting a business.

The most frequent question I get is, “Where do I start?”

If you’re asking that question, you already have started. The key now is to not quit, which most people do.

The prevailing wisdom on what to do next currently goes something along the lines of this (why this is ridiculous is the subject of a much longer post):

  • Read everything you can on starting a business. Start by reading every single link on this website. I’m not kidding. Read all of them.
  • Ask people you love and respect to introduce you to entrepreneurs.
  • Get on Twitter, follow a bunch of entrepreneurs, and start interacting with them. You’ll be shocked that some will actually talk to you.
  • Remember that you have to make up your own mind and most entrepreneurs are crazy people. Take their advice with a grain of salt.
  • Read The Cook and the Chef. Seriously, read the whole damned thing.
  • Learn how to properly ask for an introduction for heaven’s sake.

If you do those things, you know more about starting a business than probably 80% of people. After that, it’s a long road ahead of practice, refining, not quitting, and learning from the countless mistakes you will inevitably make.

I first asked, “Where do I start,” almost ten years ago, and I’ll share what happened after that on Sunday.

🎉 🍻 ❤️ — Andy

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